24 Bases with reported TCE water contamination
(Source: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry)

Cornhusker Army Ammunition Plant

Hall County, NE

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CAAP is three miles west of Grand Island in Hall County, Nebraska. Sampling of soil on the installation has shown contamination with metals, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and explosives, including cyclotrimethylenetrinitramine (RDX), trinitrotoluene (2,4,6-TNT or TNT), and hexamethylenetetramine (HMX). Contaminated areas have been preliminarily evaluated, but assessment of the extent of contamination is not complete. Environmental evaluation is continuing in the ongoing Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS). The isolation of and limited access to most on-post areas limits the likelihood of people coming into contact with any contamination. If land use patterns at CAAP change, however, further environmental study will be needed to ensure human health is protected.
Off-post contamination of groundwater with explosives, nitrates, and possibly VOCs and other unknown compounds has in the past and currently poses a public health hazard. The number of persons exposed in the past by ingesting contaminated groundwater cannot be accurately estimated. The majority of residents exposed to contaminated drinking water in the past now have access to an alternative water supply. Exposure may be possible, however, if residents consume vegetables grown in private gardens irrigated with contaminated water; recent laboratory studies indicate that plants may efficiently absorb RDX. ATSDR discussed this information with the U.S. Army Toxic and Hazardous Materials Agency (USATHAMA), EPA, Nebraska Department of Environmental Control (NDEC), and the Nebraska Department of Health (NDH) and recommended that residents stop using contaminated water to irrigate their vegetable gardens. On July 30, 1991, NDEC and NDH advised residents to stop eating vegetables grown in gardens irrigated with water from private wells. ATSDR attended a public meeting sponsored by NDEC and NDH on August 5, 1991, to discuss the new information with the public.
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